Karnataka: Horatti firm on action for breach of language policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Mon Mar 26 00:54:14 UTC 2007

Date:24/03/2007 URL:

Karnataka - Bangalore

Schools: Horatti firm on action for breach of language policy

In thelegislature 2,215 schools derecognised for illegally switching to
English medium

Cabinet to take a decision on the matter in its next meeting
Interests of students will be protected, says Minister

BANGALORE: Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Basavaraj Horatti
on Friday declared in the Legislative Council that there was no question
of going back on the decision by the Government to derecognise 2,215
private schools for violating the State's language policy. Mr. Horatti
also clarified that the Cabinet subcommittee, which was formed recently,
would only decide on the steps to be taken to protect the interests of
three lakh students studying in these schools. The subcommittee was
expected to submit its report on Tuesday. The Cabinet would take a
decision on the matter in its next meeting, he said.

"Come what may, the decision to derecognise these schools will not be
changed. I am ready to face the consequences," Mr. Horatti asserted while
replying to a debate on the inconvenience caused to students, parents and
teachers by the derecognition of primary schools for violation of the
language policy. He said the 2,215 primary schools were derecognised in
the middle of the academic year for illegally switching to English medium
though they had been granted permission to teach only in the mother
tongue, including Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.

Kept in abeyance

But the order on derecognition had been kept in abeyance till April 10,
the end of the academic year, to ensure that the students were not put to
inconvenience in the middle of the school year, he said. The schools had
not only violated the language policy but also appointed unqualified
teachers who were being paid a meagre salary of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000. He
said the Government wanted to put an end to this mess. "I cannot
understand why some people are questioning our decision to take action
against these erring schools," he remarked and said the president of the
Karnataka Unaided Schools Association had admitted that the schools were
violating the language policy. The Minister also said that officials too
were responsible for the mess because they had failed to initiate action
despite knowing that some schools had violated the language norms.
Information was being collected on the officials responsible, he said.

Schools to appeal

The Private Unaided Schools Action Committee will on Saturday submit a
memorandum seeking withdrawal of the order on derecognition of schools to
Minister for Medical Education V.S. Acharya, who heads the Cabinet
subcommittee examining the matter. Committee president N. Venkatachaliah
said private school managements and employees were also planning a dharna
on March 29. Mullahalli Suri, president of the Parents Association, said
it was logistically impossible for the Government to accommodate the three
lakh students who would be affected by the decision.

`Impossible task'

"As a parent, I do not say that private school managements are always
right. But this is a task the Government cannot handle." Some private
managements were also considering approaching the High Court, he said.
"They may have to do it if the Minister is adamant," Mr. Suri said.


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